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printed August 22, 2014
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Live TV

A feature in a mobile phone that can receive live, real-time broadcast digital video and audio signals.

Unlike streaming video, this feature uses its own network that is separate from cellular networks. This means it has its own radio frequency band, a dedicated antenna in the phone, and dedicated antenna towers on the ground (or in some cases a satellite.) While cellular networks communicate with each phone inidvidually, these TV networks broadcast the same live TV signals to any phone within range, and phones can simply tune into channels, similar to traditional broadcast TV service for homes.

This makes the technology well-suited to live and time-sensitive video content that multiple people in the same area might want to view at once, such as sports events and breaking news. Too many people viewing such content using steaming video over cellular networks would be inefficient and could overwhelm those networks if popular.

Commercial examples of this technology include MediaFLO and DVB-H.

See: MediaFLO

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